The Lombardy region of Italy contains one sixth of all the Italian population and is responsible for one third of the nation’s agricultural output, which makes it critical that the region continue to pump out food for the rest of the country without sacrificing land for residential, commercial or industrial uses. Taking this into account, the Architectural and Urban Forum challenged 12 designers to create a development that can support 25,000 inhabitants in a self-sustaining community that integrates agriculture into the layout of the city.
In Studio Shift’s proposal the arable land is raised up and bent towards the southern sky to improve solar gain, and a patchwork of crops are planted according to their solar and water needs. Plants that need drier soil are located up on the slope so that the extra water drains towards the bottom. Underneath the new ground plane exists a residential network of various-sized apartments, and beneath that is a commercial network with pathways that connect to the nearby transit lines. In the remaining spaces, gardens and public parks open up the area for pleasure and recreation.
Photo credits: ©Studio Shift